Sam Berns, teen inspiration to thousands passes

Written by Fox News on . Posted in Obituaries

Publisher's note:  Although I had been aware of him and his affliction with the rare medical condition known as Progeria Syndrome, I never had the opportunity to meet Sam Berns, and it seems unfitting to publish his story, one filled with so much life, under this column heading.  You see, Sam Berns wasn’t your average teen; he wasn’t caught up in his own plight.  Instead, Sam lived his all too short life richly as an inspiration to everyone he came into contact with.  Never letting his condition get him down, he remained positive, upbeat, and he taught all those who knew and knew of him a new perspective.  

When so many of us get frazzled by such little things as the inconvenience of missing out on the early bird special at our local diner, or finding out they made our coffee wrong when we’re a mile away from the coffee shop; the memory of Sam Berns and so many others that cope with daily end of life struggles should stand as a stark reminder of just how truly blessed we all are.

The Patriots Press extends our deepest. heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of this brave young man who touched so many lives.  Rest in Peace Sam Berns. 

Fox News:  A Massachusetts teen credited with inspiring legions through his brave fight against an extremely rare illness died Friday -- one day before he was to serve as honorary captain for the New England Patriots’ at a playoff game.  

MyFoxBoston reports Sam Berns, 17, died from complications related to Progeria syndrome, a genetic disorder that debilitates approximately 1-in-8 million children with stunted growth, rapidly advanced, or premature, aging, and the deterioration of one’s organs uncharacteristically early in life. 

“I loved Sam Berns and am richer for having known him,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft wrote in a statement following Berns’ death on Friday night.

“He was a special young man whose inspirational story and positive outlook on life touched my heart. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend time with him and to get to know his incredible family.”

Berns, a Foxboro High School junior, was the subject of a 2013 HBO documentary about his family’s dogged search for a cure, called "Life According to Sam."

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In Memoriam

Written by The Patriots Press on . Posted in Obituaries

There is nothing I can add to the information surrounding the event of that fateful day, so I felt it would be my tribute to President Kennedy to share my experience and memory of that day.

I was just a child in the fourth grade living in Lynn, Massachusetts; and while I didn’t fully understand what it meant, like so many others, I will never forget that day or days that followed.

The news came into our classroom via a messenger and class was promptly dismissed.  The President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, had been shot.  As always after the school day, we went straight home, and as the day wore on and the news streamed in over our small black and white TV, my family and I were glued to the unfolding drama as Walter Cronkite kept a weeping nation apprised of the breaking developments.

We learned of his death, and we watched as the succession of power took place live as LBJ took the oath of office.  Never far from view was the now widowed first lady.  The epitome of grace throughout the entire episode, Jackie Kennedy held her composure as few could have.  I guess she felt that the nation needed her to be the face of strength in a time of immense personal and national tragedy.  She would have been correct; had she broken down, the sadness would have been even more unimaginable.

In the days that followed, we witnessed the suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, shot to death in a Dallas Police Station by an up to that moment in time unknown businessman named Jack Ruby.  

We then sat dumb founded as one accusation and one theory after the other poured in up to the day of the funeral procession, and those theories have never stopped.  We watched as the procession passed the first family and Little John saluted the casket.  I remember feeling so badly for that poor kid.

The years have passed, and our nation has moved on as much as possible.  However, the lingering questions remain and we may never know the whole truth or the real impact of his untimely death.

The Patriots Press joins the rest of America in remembering you and honoring you on the 50th anniversary of passing.

Rest in Peace Mr. President.  Thank you for your life-long service to our nation.  

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Oldest WWII Medal of Honor Hero Dies

Written by New Jersey Journal on . Posted in Obituaries

Publisher's note:  All of our military are heroes and we can never thank them enough; Friday, we lost the oldest surviving WWII Medal of Honor Recipient.  

Sgt. Nicholas Oresko, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was awarded the MOH for his gallantry when he eliminated two enemy machine gun bunkers under heavy fire, died Friday.  Thank you Sgt. Oresko, your service and sacrifices will never be forgotten.  Rest in eternal peace soldier.

New Jersey Journal:  The country’s oldest Medal of Honor recipient and arguably “Bayonne’s most famous” citizen, Nicholas Oresko, died Friday night at Englewood Hospital, according to The Record.

“He’s one of the most famous people ever to come out of Bayonne,” said City Council President Terry Ruane. “It makes me proud (to be from Bayonne). It’s a sad day and God bless him.”

Oresko, 96, who was living in Cresskill at the time of his death, received his Medal of Honor on Oct. 30, 1945 after he single-handedly killed 12 German soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge.

While his unit was pinned down by enemy fire, Oresko rushed the Germans and threw a grenade into their bunker, killing everyone inside.

Oresko’s actions were honored by his hometown in 2010, after the city named the former School 14 at Avenue E and 24th Street in his honor.

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Jack ‘Angel’ Regan, Patriot Guard Rider...Rest in Peace

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Obituaries

Early Saturday morning, a real man, a true Patriot, and a member of the Patriot Guard Riders was on his way to take part in an Honor Guard Mission for WWII veterans on the Treasure Coast.  While on the way to that mission, Jack 'Angel’ Regan, a dedicated member of the PGR and a 'Ride Captain in Training’ was rear ended by another motorist on I 95 and very sadly killed.

Like so many regular citizens, Jack was not well known or famous outside of his circle of family, friends, and associates; but he should have been.

When not honoring fallen soldiers, veterans, police and firefighters, or doing any of the other other valiant and amazing work done by the Patriot Guard Riders, Jack and his wife Debbie were co-founders and operated Service Dogs and Warriors.com.  The sole purpose of this wonderful organization is to obtain and train service dogs for disabled veterans, police, fire-fighters, and others who are unable to afford the costs of obtaining one on their own.  Jack had an affinity for dogs, and the last one he trained, named Hank, was one he became particularly attached to and cried when he had to send him on.

For more information about Jack, Service Dogs and Warriors.com, or 'Hank’ and to make a donation if you choose to, you may visit the website here.

Everyone that knew Jack is mourning the loss of this great man, and one of the most touching letters I have received honoring him is this one from Mr. Richard ‘Whistler’ Little:

"Our brother and one of my closest friends Jack "Angel" Regan, was killed on I-95 @ 0300 hrs today. He was on his way to the 0400 Honor Flight Mission for our WWII veterans in the Treasure Coast.  I am deeply saddened and in tears by this and urge all to pray for him and his wife he left behind. Jack was one of the most caring, giving and honest individuals I have ever known...he will be sorely missed and always remembered.  We love ya Jack; Hank will miss you and never forget you.”

I did not have the privilege of knowing Jack 'Angel’ Regan, however I do know many members of the Patriot Guard Riders, what they do, and the kind of men and women they are, and I am honored to call them friends.

The Patriots Press joins all of the Patriot Guard Riders and the entire South Florida Community in saluting this amazing American Patriot.  

Rest in peace Jack 'Angel’ Regan, and enjoy that endless Heavenly ride.

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Jason Shields, American Patriot...Rest in Peace

Written by David DiCrescenzo on . Posted in Obituaries

Loving dad and husband, Patriot, great friend; all of these and a lot more describe Jason Shields.  If you had asked him for his proudest success and achievement, he would have told you without a moment’s hesitation about his two children and their love of Jesus.  Because that’s who Jason was; a devoted Christian, who above all else, loved God and his family.

I only knew Jason for about four years; however I was blessed to know him very well and was proud to number him among my very closest of friends.  We worked in the South Florida 912 and Tea Party movement together, stood on street corners with signs for candidates, talked to people about what is going on in our country and world, went to political events, attended church and prayed together a lot, and so much more.  

I can’t remember all the times we broke bread together or had a beer with mutual friends.  Even within the last year, Jason and I had some great times.  I remember when he was originally diagnosed with cancer back around 2010.  I remember it because for a while back then when things weren’t looking good, he and I talked about going down to a firing range and making some noise, and for the longest time it looked like we might never get the chance to do so.  Then, things turned around for a while and he was on the mend, and I said something like, “Shields, grab some guns, let’s go do some shooting while we can,” and we did; that was almost two years ago.

More recently still, last October, I helped Jason DJ a Halloween bash up in Jupiter, a week or so later on the day after Election Day a bunch of us; including me, Doug and Shannon Armstrong, and Jason and his wife Candi, took a walk on the beach in Lake Worth.  We all cried on each other’s shoulders over the results, Jason and I smoked a cigar, and we all found a bar just opening for lunch and enjoyed a cocktail together.  Just a few weeks after that, we were at his home for a holiday party on a chilly Florida evening with a fire pit blazing in the yard, and this past March, Jason and I replaced the brakes on Candi’s car.

The bottom line is that Jason Shields was the kind of guy that people just liked to be around.  He was full of life, loved everyone, and enjoyed every minute he could of his all too brief time here.  Even when the pain and discomfort must have been unimaginable for him, he never complained…because he was always busy making sure that everyone else was okay.  He did so with such grace

Jason Shields succumbed to cancer on Saturday, 9/7/13; he wouldn’t have wanted us to mourn, even though we will.  Jason didn’t die however, he simply got to be with Jesus before the rest of us, and that is something we can celebrate.  God bless you Jason Shields; knowing your legacy, I can’t help but think that you were welcomed into Heaven with a resounding “…well done, good and faithful servant.”

See you soon my friend.  

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